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Thursday, Mar 30, 2017

  

Quake Champions Closed Beta Next Week

Bethesda.net announces closed beta testing for Quake Champions will get underway on April 6th. They say they will continue to add testers following their initial group, so if you are interested in an early crack at the new shooter you should register here. They also unveil Anarki as the game's next champion and offer a trailer to introduce him. Here's a portion of the lengthier update:

Among the hardened warriors and alien conquerors inhabiting the Dreamlands, Anarki sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s tough to keep up with the transhuman punk when he’s blazing trails around the Arena on his hoverboard, but his speed is just one of the things that allow him to stand on the same level as Champions like Nyx and Scalebearer. Anarki is one of the Champions you’ll be able to try out during the upcoming Closed Beta, which will begin on Thursday, April 6 with an initial group of testers. More players will be added into the Closed Beta over time, so make sure to sign up now. You can see Anarki in action in our latest profile trailer.

Continue here to read the full story.

Thimbleweed Park Released

Terrible Toybox announces the release of Thimbleweed Park, their new adventure game for Windows, OS X, Linux, and Xbox One. The development team includes genre standouts Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, and the game's launch trailer shows it makes ample use of their senses of humor. PC users can get this from GOG.com or Steam, and here is word on what to expect:

Welcome to Thimbleweed Park. Population: 80 nutcases.

A haunted hotel, an abandoned circus, a burnt-out pillow factory, a dead body pixelating under the bridge, toilets that run on vacuum tubes... you’ve never visited a place like this before.

Five people with nothing in common have been drawn to this rundown, forgotten town. They don’t know it yet, but they are all deeply connected. And they’re being watched.

...Who is Agent Ray really working for and will she get what they want?
...What does Junior Agent Reyes know about a 20 year old factory fire that he’s not saying?
...Will the ghost, Franklin, get to speak to his daughter again?
...Will Ransome the *Beeping* Clown ever become a decent human being?
...Will aspiring game developer Delores abandon her dreams and stick by her family?
...And most importantly: how come no one cares about that dead body?

By the end of a long, strange night in Thimbleweed Park, all of this will be answered -- and you’ll question everything you thought you knew.

In a town like Thimbleweed Park, a dead body is the least of your problems.

Key Features:

  • From Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, creators of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion.
  • A neo-noir mystery set in 1987.
  • 5 playable characters who can work together… or get on each other’s nerves.
  • Not a walking simulator!
  • Satisfying puzzles intertwined with a twisty-turny story that will stay with you.
  • A vast, bizarre world to explore at your own pace.
  • A joke every 2 minutes... guaranteed!*
  • Casual and Hard modes with varied difficulty.
  • English voices with English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish subtitles.

*Not a guarantee.

Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefield 1 DLC Sharing

The Battlefield website announces Premium Friends, a way for Battlefield 1 Premium Pass owners to play with friends who were too cheap to pony up for that level of luxury (thanks MP1st). Many other developers have opted to make all multiplayer maps available to all players, but they are taking a more targeted approach, explained here:

As a player who owns Battlefield 1 Premium Pass you will be able to bring your friends in Battlefield 1 along to play on the new maps!

When creating a party in Battlefield 1 you may notice something new: if someone owns a Battlefield 1 Premium Pass the party will become "Premium Enabled". This will allow anyone in that party to play on all maps, regardless if they own the content or not. The access is available as long as the party is "Premium Enabled".

While all players will be able to play on maps accessible through Battlefield 1 Premium Pass through Premium Friends, some experiences are exclusive to Battlefield 1 Premium Pass owners.

  • In a “Premium Enabled” party, only owners of a Battlefield 1 Premium Pass or the specific expansion pack will earn XP from the maps exclusive to that expansion. We will save the XP for everyone else and grant them retroactively if they decide to get the Battlefield 1 Premium Pass for themselves.
  • Only owners of a Battlefield 1 Premium Pass or the specific expansion pack will be able to spawn in with weapons and vehicles unique for the expansion.
  • Only owners of a Battlefield 1 Premium Pass or the specific expansion pack will track progress towards the unique medals and codexes for the expansion.

You are all invited to try this new way of playing with friends and enjoy Battlefield 1 content. We will activate the test run of Premium Friends during the upcoming Battlefest, which starts on March 30.

We will pay close attention to your feedback on Premium Friends. It’s our goal to work towards molding this feature into something that embodies our commitment to you, our amazing community.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Trailer

A new official trailer from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series. This post explains the clip, and says the game will debut on April 18th:

It's me again!
Today we dropped the first trailer for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series. It's that video at the top of the page -- click it, watch it, and report back.

RIGHT?
The game is available to pre-order now. The first episode, 'Tangled Up in Blue,' premieres April 18th. The season pass disc will be available beginning May 2nd in North America and May 5th across the globe.

Continue here to read the full story.

MetaMorph: Dungeon Creatures Announced

Firefly Studios announces MetaMorph: Dungeon Creatures, an upcoming fast-paced dungeon crawler from the Stronghold developer. This will be fully released in 2018, but it will launch on Steam early access later this year, and the game's Steam page is already online. They also offer this announcement trailer and early details on what to expect:

Morph between spirit forms and crush hordes of evil minions! The Lords of Death have returned and with the green, fertile lands of the overworld under siege it’s up to you to take the fight beneath the earth. Liberate dungeons, free the spirits of fallen heroes and turn their powers against Death himself!

Welcome to MetaMorph, an original title from Firefly Studios’ new ‘Firefly Labs’ team releasing this year on Early Access. A strategic dungeon crawler that rewards character switching, elemental counters and crowd control, MetaMorph challenges you to best a series of increasingly difficult dungeons filled with fire imps, vengeful wisps and hulking golems. These things are all trying to kill you. Good luck!

To survive you must solve the ‘puzzle’ of each encounter. Choose which spirit forms to take into battle and morph between them at will to counter enemies of all shapes and sizes. Plan your attack and react on the fly as you combine strategy with twitch skills to decimate opponents and reclaim your land from the Lords of Death.

  • MORPH between powerful spirit forms, shapeshifting to counter and crush enemy hordes.
  • MASTER tactical combat in an adventure that rewards strategic choices over button mashing.
  • EXPLORE hostile dungeons infested with demons, grotesque experiments and vengeful spirits.
  • CUSTOMISE your heroes’ ability loadouts and team composition before braving each hellish lair.
  • BANISH Death’s horde to the nether realm with each hero’s unique powers and attributes.

MetaMorph: Dungeon Creatures is the creation of 'Firefly Labs', a new internal team at Firefly Studios responsible for prototyping new IPs and game concepts outside the company's traditional expertise in strategy-simulation. While the core Firefly team will continue to work on Stronghold titles including Stronghold Kingdoms mobile, Stronghold 2: Steam Edition and a new mainline Stronghold title for PC, the Labs team will develop MetaMorph for release later this year on Early Access. MetaMorph will be developed with the help of Firefly's core community, with the aim of leaving Early Access and releasing worldwide in early 2018.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Destiny 2 in September; PC Included

The promised reveal trailer for Destiny 2 is now online, showing off the upcoming shooter sequel. This touts preorders for a September 8th release, and the preorder page does include the PC as a target platform along with Xbox One and PlayStation 4. They say preorders will get early beta access, and while there's small print in the trailer saying beta platforms are TBD, the beta FAQ confirms the PC is included. Here's word on the game:

From the makers of the acclaimed hit game Destiny, comes the much-anticipated sequel. An action shooter that takes you on an epic journey across the solar system.

Humanity’s last safe city has fallen to an overwhelming invasion force led by Ghaul, the imposing commander of the brutal Red Legion. He has stripped the city’s Guardians of their power, and forced the survivors to flee. You will venture to mysterious, unexplored worlds of our solar system to discover an arsenal of weapons and devastating new combat abilities. To defeat the Red Legion and confront Ghaul, you must reunite humanity’s scattered heroes, stand together, and fight back to reclaim our home.

Continue here to read the full story.

Dean Hall's Stationeers Revealed

Eurogamer has word that Dean Hall is attending EGX Rezzed, revealing Stationeers, an upcoming space station management game in the werkz at RocketWerkz. It's not clear if this is the multiplayer game he teased in October, but they say it will support multiplayer, as well as solo play. They say early access should begin soon, and in the meantime, offer this description:

Inspired by the beloved Space Station 13, Stationeers puts you in control of the construction and management of a space station either by yourself in single-player, or online with your friends. Complex systems around atmospherics, power generation

Destiny 2 PC Hype?

Polygon reports the "leak" and subsequent removal of images that would seem to confirm PC plans for Destiny 2, the upcoming shooter sequel that's not yet announced for Windows. These were screen captures of marketing materials said to be accidentally revealed by a Spanish-language retailer, but Polygon dashes a little cold water on this news, noting an image editor window still open in the background, and the public availability of all the included imagery. A recent teaser promised a full trailer reveal at 1:00 pm EDT today, so we may know as soon as that whether this game is destined for PCs.

The Witcher Sells 25M Copies

There's a 2016 financial results summary on the CD PROJEKT website with financial reporting for the Polish developer and publisher (thanks DSOGaming). This includes word that sales of The Witcher series have surpassed the 25 million mark. Here's a comment on that from Adam Kiciński, President of CD PROJEKT:

For years we have consistently prioritized quality and focused on a limited range of products. The persistently strong sales of the entire The Witcher series vindicate our approach and contribute to long-term appeal of our releases. Between the launch of The Witcher in 2007 and the end of 2016 we have sold over 25 million copies of The Witcher games.

Mass Effect Andromeda Plans

BioWare tweets their latest plans to address fan discontent with Mass Effect Andromeda (thanks Eurogamer). They use an image to get around the site's 140 character limit, since a picture says a thousand words. They promise to reveal specific plans on Tuesday:

It's been a week since we officially launched Mass Effect: Andromeda worldwide, and we couldn't be more excited that fans are finally experiencing everything we've worked so hard to create.

We've received quite a bit of feedback, some of it positive and some of it critical. That feedback is an important part of our ongoing support of the game, and we can't wait to share more of our immediate plans with you on Tuesday, April 4.

In the meantime, keep your feedback coming. Our team is listening, working around the clock to gather information and plan out solutions to improve and build on Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Thanks for your continued support and for joining us on this journey.

The Descendants Free Episode One

Gaming Corps and Microids announce that the first episode of The Descendant is now free to download on Steam for Windows and OS X. This is yours to keep, and the hope is that this will inspire purchases of the full five episode game, which is currently on sale for half off. This offer has something for everyone, because if you own the full game you can now download for the full soundtrack and the updated digital artbook for the game for no additional cost. "Since its official free release on March 22nd, The Descendant Episode 1 had 110,000 new users, with a peak of 8,807 simultaneous players on the first day and sales have jumped more than 1000% week over week," says Gaming Corps president Jean-Marc Broyer. "We understand that the current promotion is giving an extra lift to the title so we want to remain cautious, however, we are planning more activities on The Descendant with Microïds who has been a great partner to work with so far!" Here's a reminder on what this game is about:

THE DESCENDANT is a five part episodic adventure game series where the end of the world is only the start.

After climate change wrecked the planet, a man-made extinction event wiped humankind off the face of the Earth. Only a few thousand ‘descendants of humanity’ were hand-picked to survive the apocalypse, cryogenically suspended in underground bunkers known as Arks.

Centuries passed. The world recovered from the nuclear holocaust, and all the Arks reopened, except one — Ark-01.

Taking place across two timelines, in the past you'll play as Mia, a janitor tasked with keeping the precious descendants housed within Ark-01 alive while the facility continually fails around her, and in the present, you'll play as Donnie, one of the investigators trying to rescue any surviving descendants trapped within, all while discovering a far greater conspiracy buried within the underground Ark complex.

Morning Patches

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Swim Out -- Steam Greenlight. "Swim Out is a strategic, turn-by-turn puzzle game where you control a swimmer who wants to get out of a pool, a river or the sea without touching any swimmers. The player must think about each move to avoid contact with any other swimmer. He can pick up balls and buoys and throw them to other swimmers, use dipnets, waterguns, and even ride a kayak!
    However many elements will make his journey harder: divers, boomerang throwers, fishermen, water-bombing kids, crabs, large waves, jellyfishes, … the water is filled with dangers!"

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Off to a late start today. I'll admit I got caught up in a showing of The Missiles of October late into the night, as this 1974 made-for-TV movie was fantastic. I know I must have seen some of this as a kid because I still associate William Devane with JFK, and he just part of a great cast that includes Martin Sheen as RFK and many other recognizable faces (including an always welcome James Hong sighting). This is an action-free account of the behind-the-scenes intrigues of the Cuban Missile Crisis, similar to the more recent Thirteen Days, though quite oddly The Missiles of October is based on RFK's book Thirteen Days, and the film called Thirteen Days is not (the title of The Missiles of October is a riff on The Guns of August). The newer movie has the benefit of more declassified information, but somehow is far less realistic, trying to squeeze spine chills out of diplomatic proclamations and suggesting the Kevin Costner character (Kenny O'Donnell) single-handedly saved humanity from nuclear war by convincing U2 pilots to not get shot down. Of course that's Hollywood for you. In the earlier movie O'Donnell, not played by a big star, is portrayed as someone who was occasionally in the room.

Links of March Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Hill Riders Offroad.
Story: ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 3 Premiere Gets Closer to ‘Breaking Bad.’
Science: Jeff Bezos Reveals 'Sneak Peek' of Blue Origin's Space Tourism Capsule.
Live today: SpaceX attempts to launch a “flight proven” rocket.
Lamar Smith claims climate scientists not following scientific method.
Media: Soup - Cyanide & Happiness Shorts.
Stephen King's It Teaser Trailer #1 (2017).
Sledgehammer - Vintage '50s Rhythm & Blues Cover. Thanks Boing Boing. Seems like a familiar concept.
The Funnies: Brevity.



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